Hale County This Morning, This Evening
The Black Belt in the Southern United States is known for its history of slavery and poverty. RaMell Ross, who worked here as a teacher and basketball coach for years, paints a more multifaceted picture in his debut feature documentary. With the warm, intimate eye of an insider, Ross captures the community of Hale County by pointing his camera at a few of its members. Over the course of five years, he follows the college student and basketball player Daniel Collins, the young father Quincy Bryant, and the people in their lives.
He does so in a poetically flowing, impressionist style. The editing is associative and non-linear, a sequence of moments: a small child running to and fro, three girls singing under a canopy roof in the evening, basketball players practicing, a funeral and a birth. Occasionally funny and often moving, Hale County This Morning, This Evening leaves it up to us to decide what the deeper meaning of it all is.